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Mastering Large ESL Classrooms: Proven Strategies You Can Use Today

Whether you are a new or experienced teacher, you will at some point find yourself in a situation where you feel like you are losing control of your classroom. It is not an unusual feeling and one that all teachers have experienced at one time or another.

The key to maintaining control of your classroom is to be prepared and have proper classroom management and lesson planning for dealing with disruptive students. In this blog post, we will share essential tips for staying in control of a large ESL class.

In addition, you can learn more advanced class management and teaching techniques with our recommended Master of Arts in Education with TESOL course as well.

Now, without any further ado, let’s get to know 9 essential tips with which you can control a large ESL classroom successfully:

1. Classroom Management

The first step in controlling a large ESL classroom by setting up classroom management and lesson planning. Write down a few simple rules, such as “Be respectful” and “Raise your hand before speaking”, and stick to them. Make sure the rules are enforced in a consistent manner and then gradually introduce more rules as needed.

It is also important to establish a classroom routine to help the class familiarize themselves with their expectations and to reduce chaos. Ask students to enter the classroom at a certain time, to sit in designated seats, and to organize their supplies.

2. Engage all students in class

One of the common difficulties faced by teachers in larger ESL classes is engaging all the students. To ensure that all students are participating, it is important to create an inclusive learning environment.

To do this, move around the classroom frequently and offer verbal and nonverbal cues to get students involved. Additionally, give students the opportunity to contribute to the class discussion. If a student hesitates to participate, help draw them out by offering them a specific topic or question.

3. Use a student’s name often

Addressing students using their names is an effective way to show students that you know and care about them. Using the student’s names also helps them to stay focused, connected, and encourages a sense of personal accountability. In addition, when saying a student’s name, it is important to maintain an even and respectful tone.

4. Get creative with your voice

While it is not recommended to shout or raise your voice in order to gain control of a classroom, varying your voice can be an effective tool to help engage students. Speak more quietly when you want to emphasize something important and speak louder when you need to get their attention. Additionally, using a friendly, enthusiastic, and positive tone will help to foster a positive learning environment.

5. Maintain a sense of humour

It is important to maintain a sense of humour with students. Showing them the lighter side will help to build relationships and make the classroom more inviting. However, be careful to ensure that humour is used appropriately and respectfully.

6. Be patient

Time is an important factor when teaching a large ESL class. It is important to allow students to take their time and make sure that everyone understands what is being taught. Encourage and be tolerant of mistakes. Praise progress and recognize the effort put in by the students.

7. Don’t take things personally

It is important to remember that you are the teacher, but at the same time, you are also a human being. Not all students will agree with you and this is to be expected. It is important to separate the student from their behaviour and to be firm and consistent in class.

8. Reward good behaviour:

Reinforcing positive behaviour is an effective way to increase students’ motivation. Try to recognize students’ good behaviour and make sure it is rewarded. Doing so will also help to prevent potential negative behaviours in the future.

9. Set realistic expectations:

When teaching a large ESL class, it is important to set realistic goals and expectations. It is often tempting to push students to perform beyond their abilities, but this can have negative consequences. Make sure to set achievable goals and adjust the workload to ensure that all students are able to participate and succeed.

Final Thoughts:

Having control of a large ESL classroom is a difficult task. However, with the help of proper classroom management and lesson planning, will definitely help you stay in control and get the most out of your students. Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for every classroom and you may need to adjust your strategy depending on the situation. Above all, remember to be patient and take the time to get to know your students’ needs and personalities.

In case, if you’re an aspiring or experienced teacher who wants to learn modern classroom and teaching techniques then we do recommend you to go through our Master of Arts in Education with TESOL course, which will definitely help you in your teaching career.


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